FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
ELON, N.C. — Riding a three-year streak of NCAA Regional appearances, Mike Kennedy’s Elon Phoenix baseball squad has announced its slate of games for the 2011 season. The Phoenix is scheduled to play 12 games against teams that participated in the 2010 NCAA Regionals, including a two-game set at Clemson which advanced to the College World Series last season.
“Again we have put together another challenging schedule for 2011,” stated Kennedy. “We welcome the demands of such a competitive schedule and participating at the highest level. Our club will be tested early and often this spring. Our scheduling philosophy never changes. We want to play a schedule that puts us in position to receive an at-large bid to regional play. The Southern Conference is such a good league we do not want to have to rely on winning our conference tournament to advance to post season play as long as we perform well. This league continues to get better and better and is well on its way to being one of the top baseball playing leagues in the country. Outside the conference, we play as good a non-conference slate as anyone with the likes of Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, East Carolina and many others.”
Elon’s 2011 campaign will get underway on Friday, Feb. 18 at NC State at 3 p.m. The Phoenix and the Wolfpack will play a three-game set that weekend with Saturday’s tilt being held at Elon’s newly renovated Latham Park at 2 p.m. The finale will be back in Raleigh on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Following a mid-week visit to Triad rival High Point (Feb. 22), Kennedy’s Phoenix will travel to Tampa, Fla. where Elon will take on South Florida in a weekend series Feb. 25-27. The Bulls finished in a tie for fourth in the Big East a year ago.
Elon will return home for its next five games, beginning with a 4 p.m. tilt against UNC Wilmington on March 2. The Phoenix will then welcome both defending Horizon League regular-season champion Wright State and the Big East’s West Virginia to Latham Park over the weekend of March 4-6. On the fourth, WVU and Wright State will meet at noon before Elon and Wright State square off at 4 p.m. The Phoenix will then play WVU at 11 a.m. and Wright State at 3 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, WVU and Wright State will meet at 10 a.m. with Elon facing the Mountaineers at 2 p.m.
Kennedy’s program will make the short trek to Chapel Hill to face 2010 NCAA Regional squad North Carolina at 6 p.m. on March 8 before hosting Saint Joseph’s at 4 p.m. on the March 9. That weekend, Elon will begin Southern Conference play by travelling to Appalachian State for a three-game set starting on March 11.
March 15 should see a big crowd on hand at Latham Park as East Carolina comes to Elon for a 6 p.m. match-up. Elon will follow that up with another road league series, visiting Western Carolina March 18-20.
After sweeping a two-game mid-week series in Clemson a year ago, the Phoenix will look to duplicate that success again in 2011 when Elon visits the Tigers for 6:30 p.m. games on both March 22 and 23.
Elon then returns home for its first league series at Latham Park as Samford comes to town March 25-27. Elon closes out the month of March by visiting East Carolina on March 30.
April starts off with another road SoCon series – this one a short trip down I-85 to UNC Greensboro on April 1-3. The Phoenix follows that up with an April 5 home date with Old Dominion before hosting Wofford in a league series April 8-10. College of Charleston then travels to Elon for a league series April 15-17. The Cougars also reached the NCAA Regionals in 2010.
High Point makes the return trip to Latham Park on April 19 ahead of a SoCon series at Georgia Southern April 22-24.
The Phoenix will play a home-and-home with Wake Forest on April 26-27 with the first date coming at Latham Park at 7 p.m.
The first of Elon’s final three SoCon series, each of which comes at home, will see the Davidson Wildcats in town from April 29-May 1. The Phoenix will then play visit UNC Wilmington on May 3.
On May 6-8 the Phoenix will visit the defending SoCon champion Bulldogs from The Citadel before playing its final road game of the year at Old Dominion on May 10.
Elon will close out the 2011 regular season by hosting Furman in a SoCon set May 18-20.
The 2011 Southern Conference Tournament will be held at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. beginning on May 25. The championship game will be played on May 29.